Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2,000 Miles in the Ambulance RV Project

80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D @ 86mm f/5.6 1/640 ISO 100

Map of my trip according to GPS data from a few cellphone photos.
This January I was finally able to get out and stretch my new legs: I finally put my ambulance RV conversion project to the test in a longer trip. My vehicle of choice is a 1991 Ford E-350 Medtech Ambulance, purchased off ebay out of Pena, IL for $3,600. This trip pushed the odometer past 40,000 miles—hardly broken in for the 7.3l IDI International engine. I have converted the rear ambulance box to include a folding bed and other small amenities, but I spend as much time as I can traveling, camping, and photographing from the ambulance, so build progress is slow.

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 55mm f/10 1/400s ISO 100

Storms are fun in the ambulance; 8,000lbs of insulated steel gives plenty of confidence and fact that I don't need to leave the vehicle to transition from sleeping to driving allows me to worry little about the weather—the coldest night I spent on this trip was -8ยบ just east of the Continental Divide. The ambulance does not yet have any heater except the engine.

The view across the bottom of Death Valley—the rim of the valley is so far away that through this 200mm lens it appears distinctly blue.

Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park.

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 17mm f/18 1s ISO 100

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 17mm f/5 1/1000s ISO 100; three-shot panorama

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 17mm f/4 1/1600 ISO 100

80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D @ 100mm f/8 1/1000 ISO 100

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 35mm f/9 1/320 ISO 100

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 17mm f/5 1/1250 ISO 100

80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D @ 80mm f/8 1/1250 ISO 100

The ambulance against the vastness of Death Valley; it's most at home on long road trips—of which there will be many more.

17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S @ 17mm f/9 1/320 ISO 100